Kickstarting a new Ecommerce Platform during Lockdown
Taking Hotter's digital presence to the next level
UK shoe manufacturer Hotter Shoes wanted to provide its customers with a stronger digital experience - one that was slicker, simpler to use and more representative of the brand. At the same time, the company was keen to expand its reach into the US and Europe.
The COVID-19 pandemic added new urgency to these plans. With lockdown measures pushing consumers online in their droves, Hotter was keen to accelerate the implementation of a new digitisation strategy aimed at reducing operational costs and increasing conversions, as well as improving the overall shopping experience.
WT Commerce worked with Hotter to deliver a new digital flagship site, ramping up development just as the pandemic took hold. The motivation was simple - to get a world-class website up and running in time for Hotter to take full advantage of the surge in digital traffic lockdown triggered.
Page performance was a key driver for the replatform. Using existing Hotter data, we identified a correlation between faster page load speeds and higher Average Transaction Value as well as higher conversion rate. This helped to clarify exactly how the new site could drive value for the company.
We delivered a new, modern headless commerce platform in HCL WebSphere 9, built on Google Cloud to increase overall server capacity. The migration to a cloud environment was critical to ensuring the new platform could scale to handle rapid increases in traffic, such as those that occurred during the early weeks of the pandemic, without impacting response times, and regardless of whether customers accessed the website from their phone, tablet or desktop.
Other features of the new solution included:
- Single Page App (SPA) – a modern approach to building superfast web sites.
- Progressive Web App (PWA) - a further enhancement of SPA that enables features such as HTTP push notifications, offline/limited internet browsing and superfast interactions.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) - technology designed to make mobile landing pages load instantly and offer SEO benefits since Google positions AMP results above other Google search results.
As a result of the changes, Hotter is now driving towards sub-second view transitions and near-instant page transitions in many areas of the site, meaning it functions much like an app.
The new site has reinforced the company’s global presence and is delivering outstanding results. Since it launched, Hotter has seen an 8% reduction in bounce rate, a 49% increase in conversion rate and a 37% increase in revenue, compared to the same period last year, along with a 50% drop in speed times and 600% increase in capacity.
Launching the website during lockdown had initially seemed a daunting task, but WT Commerce, together with the Hotter Shoes team, worked remotely – and tirelessly – to get the new site off the ground in time for our customers to shop digitally from the safety of their own home. We now have a new and improved eCommerce platform and website that’s already proved valuable, with increased sales and improved search engine rankings in its first week. We can’t wait to see how the new site will go from strength to strength.
CCO, Hotter Shoes